Car and Driver | Getting Around Sri Lanka | Red Dot Tours

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Car & Driver

Even hardened travellers can find Sri Lankan roads a culture shock – cyclists swaying across rush-hour traffic, trishaws weaving between lanes and even, in more rural areas, cows ruminating in the middle of a main road. We therefore do not recommend that our clients rent a car in Sri Lanka unless they have experience driving in similar conditions, and are familiar and confident on roads that can, at times, be a little chaotic. However, if you are not driving, travelling in Sri Lanka by car or minivan is the easiest and most comfortable way to explore the island, which is why Red Dot offers a pool of experienced drivers ready to transport you safely around Sri Lanka.

Travelling in Sri Lanka

Car and minivan travel remains by far the most popular option for Red Dot travellers and you will be pleasantly surprised to find that you can book your own Red Dot car or minivan, with chauffeur-guide, without breaking your budget. If you would rather scramble an airport taxi, in the early hours of the morning, to take you to your first hotel, or adventure around Sri Lanka in packed, lurching public transport, then we are the first to admire your spirit. We’ve been there. We can’t match the prices on an old Sri Lankan service bus! But a Red Dot driver does not mean that you lose your independence – in fact it gives you maximum freedom to go where you want, when you want. And, in Sri Lanka, extra convenience comes at a price you can afford. Read more about Red Dot’s team of chauffeur-guides.

Flexible Hire

Characteristically, for Red Dot, we offer transfers when and where you need them: perhaps you just want to arrange airport transfers to ensure a cheery greeting at the end of a long flight? Or perhaps, if you are heading of on an island tour, you just want the car for part of the stay – releasing it, for example, during long beach stays, so ensuring that you are not paying for it to stand idle. We accept transport-only bookings, so you can hire one of Red Dot’s drivers even if you have arranged the rest of your holiday separately.

Our Vehicles

Red Dot offers three main basic vehicle types: a car ideal for 2-3 people; a mini-van ideal for 4-6 people – or smaller groups on an adventurous trip where poor roads are expected – or an SUV, such as the KIA Sorento 2012, which offers greater comfort and style for travelling along Sri Lankan country roads due to its excellent handling, extra legroom, spacious luggage compartment and a host of other extras which ensure that your driving hours are spent in maximum comfort.

Our Chauffeur-Guides

By far the safest and least stressful way to get around the island is to hire one of our chauffeur-guides. Red Dot’s team of experienced drivers will make your safety and relaxation their chief concern, and their good English and extensive knowledge of the country enables them to double up as a tour guide, whenever requested, to make your holiday even more satisfying. Red Dot’s drivers also know the special out-of-the-way places to make your holiday extra special and can suggest additional things to do during your tour. They can advise accurately on driving times to reduce the stress of travel to a minimum, and are always happy to answer questions you may have about Sri Lanka. We firmly believe that our pool of chauffeur-guides are the best in the country, possessing a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm, and they consistently score very highly in our customer feedback reviews. All Red Dot chauffeur-guides follow a strict Drivers’ Code which provides clear guidelines regarding passenger safety, mandatory security checks, the client-driver relationship, tipping and gifts, shopping and commissions, and itinerary flexibility. This is to ensure that your time travelling around Sri Lanka is as safe and enjoyable as possible. Read more about Red Dot’s Drivers’ Code.

Janaka Wickramaratne (Wicky) - With more than 30 years of experience working in the hospitality business, and 20 years working as a chauffeur-guide both in Sri Lanka and overseas, Wicky is one of Red Dot’s most skilled drivers. He possesses a wealth of knowledge about Sri Lankan wildlife and the island’s cultural heritage and he holds a first aid certificate. He has been with Red Dot for over ten years.

Bernard - Bernard has worked in tourism for over 16 years and is one of the most senior members of our team. He is especially interested in Sri Lanka’s ancient cultural heritage and is hugely knowledgeable about the island’s history. As a father of three, Bernard is great with children and enjoys taking families on tours of Sri Lanka. Certified in first aid.

Richard - Young and enthusiastic, Richard has been working in tourism for seven years and is a National Tour Guide Lecturer in Sri Lanka. Although he was born and raised in Colombo, this ex-banker loves escaping to the hill country or seeing Sri Lanka’s wildlife, and also has a passion for local food. Certified in first aid.

R.A.D Pathmasiri (Ram) - Ram, who has been working as a chauffeur-guide for over ten years, is passionate about the history of Sri Lanka, particularly with regards to Buddhism, and enjoys guiding people around the island’s archaeological sites. He is also particularly interested in Sri Lankan nature and wildlife, and is a member of the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka.

Bandula - Bandula originates from Kandy and charms everyone with his warm, friendly character. He loves meeting new people and delights in the fact that his job allows him to travel all over Sri Lanka on a regular basis. A father of two, he is skilled at entertaining children during long journeys. He has been with Red Dot since 2010.

Roy - Roy has been a licensed chauffeur-guide since 2004 and has attended several training programmes for guiding in Sri Lanka. He is particularly knowledgeable about Sri Lankan wildlife and is a keen birdwatcher, and also likes going on nature walks and game drives through the island’s national parks. Roy is fluent in Sinhalese, Tamil and English – the three main languages spoken in Sri Lanka.

Sujith - Working as a chauffeur-guide since 2010, Sujith is highly sociable and enjoys meeting people from all over the world through his job. He actively enjoys discussing all aspects of Sri Lankan life, be it historical, cultural, political or economic. Sujith is particularly interested in Sri Lanka’s wildlife and enjoys going on nature excursions with clients.

Rathnasiri - With almost 20 years of experience working as a chauffeur-guide in Sri Lanka, Rathnasiri is one of our most knowledgeable team members. He is passionate about wildlife in Sri Lanka and enjoys birdwatching as a hobby. A father of three, Rathnasiri is fantastic at entertaining young children on long journeys. As well as Sinhalese, he can speak both English and Arabic.

Nalin - Nalin has worked in the Sri Lanka tourism industry for 15 years and is one of our most long-standing chauffeur-guides. He is a nature enthusiast, and his specialist knowledge of Sri Lanka’s birdlife will delight keen birdwatchers. Nalin also has an extensive knowledge of Sri Lankan history and is great at engaging children during long drives and cultural site visits.

Ranjith - Ranjith has worked as a chauffeur-guide for 15 years, spending ten of those at Red Dot Tours. An exceptionally experienced guide, Ranjith has excellent English and a vast knowledge of Sri Lanka, covering various aspects including its history, culture and nature. He is particularly well-versed in the island’s wildlife.

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